You wouldn’t believe the things I learned by letting go of all of the stress and worry surrounding Thanksgiving this year. Usually I plan, make lists, plan, bake, set tables, bake, worry, worry, worry. This year I was all “Thanksgiving? Meh.” We had a bunch of work related schedule changes and ended up celebrating Thanksgiving today, Monday the 2nd. It seemed strange at first, but we also celebrated Jim’s birthday so it was extra celebratory. We had a blast.
This is the 10 things I learned by not worrying about Thanksgiving This Year. Sometimes it is just better to simplify and go with the flow:
1. I usually make a ridiculous amount of food, but everyone was happy with less. Instead of five pies, I made two. Instead of six different vegetables, I made two. Instead of a getting a turkey that could feed a large army, I got a 12lb bird. It was delicious and we still had left-overs.
2. Even though we didn’t celebrate Turkey day on the right day, we still felt Thankful and enjoyed the company of family.
3. My family likes to do things when they visit. Just sitting around waiting to eat is boring. This year, I filled the dining room table with jewelry making supplies and everyone made necklaces. Then, we all squeezed in around the tiny kitchen table because nobody wanted to stop making stuff just to eat. There was a lot of laughing and story telling. Nobody left early!
4. Tiny-Small can drink out of a champagne glass like a pro. Maybe it’s time to give up the sippy cups. No, she did not drink champagne, but she did enjoy sparkling apple juice along with the adults at the table. She was very careful and I was very proud.
5. There is really no point in getting all dressed up and fancy just to cook a turkey. Regular clothes are fine. Casual Turkey day was way less stressful than dress up and sit around on the couch until the food is ready Turkey day. Tiny-Small wore a princess Halloween costume and did not brush her hair. Nobody seemed to notice or care.
6. Cranberry relish is the food of the gods. Especially when someone else makes it. Asking people to bring or do things is smart and fun and a gigantic stress reliever.
7. Birthday presents should be opened at the breakfast table. Also, even when your three-year old whispers what she made you in your ear the night before your birthday, totally giving away the secret, you can still be pleasantly surprised.
8. Shopping on real Thanksgiving is unpopular, but really fun. Mostly because the store are empty and the other shoppers have interesting stories to tell. There is instant camaraderie and you get the feeling you are helping them feel a little less lonely just by smiling and listening.
9. Shopping Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving is not fun, especially after 6pm. I’m not really a fan of Black Friday on Friday either. I’m not into crowds and just saying that out loud makes me feel like I am getting better at assessing my strengths and weaknesses and being OK with my desire to avoid crowds and having to say hello to every person I have ever met in town. For years I shopped on Black Friday because it was supposed to be fun. I think I am done with pretending I think it’s fun or doing it just because that’s what people do.
10. Certain things just never change. I still ate too much food even though there were fewer choices to pile on my plate. I still make jokes about stretch pants and unbuttoning buttons no matter how old I get (and still think I’m witty and funny). I still get embarrassed listing the things I am thankful for in front of everyone. I still hate to wash the dishes.
I hope you had a wonderful, family filled holiday this year. I hope you enjoyed your turkey…and still are!